While in-person live events around the world have been stalled, a new hero is emerging for this industry.
Having worked in the events and sports industry for the past 14 years, it has been hard to watch many of them come to a complete stand still during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been pleasing to see my other passion with technology coming to the fore with a solution to not just keep them going, but see some thriving and scaling exponentially.
Virtual events are proving to be a great solution in lieu of cancelling live events, but what's even better, the trend is showing three upsides including bigger reach, revenue and results when done right. And the good news is, we've unpacked the formula.
These results are being measured by attendance, feedback, revenue earned, profit and experience for sponsors, speakers, VIPs.
So if the limitations on LIVE in-person events have put the brakes on your business model, consider how you can learn, love and leverage your LIVE event community into a fruitful virtual experience that extends beyond the actuals days of the event. Make it a 365-hub if you like.
"There is an unprecedented opportunity to delivery your content to your community with lower upfront costs and risk."
People traditionally come to a live event for three reasons: one - content; two - connection and three - community. Technology in live platforms has advanced at such a pace that these three element can be achieved online. The experience is not the same, but 80% of the product is and if you get the other 20% right you can deliver more value and build longer lasting connections.
The three most important things to deliver a successful event:
Your platform and functionality works seamlessly to deliver a first-class experience. Not all platforms are the same and they cater to different needs and priorities. Likewise the the type and format of your event will determine the most suitable platform and tech set up.
Keep the delivery interactive for maximum engagement. This can include live challenges, quizzes, Q&As, task exercises, share on socials rewards and point rewards systems. Multi-day events can include homework tasks to submit and gain feedback from the other participants. The key is to keep the dialogue a two-way communication, otherwise you are delivering a webinar, not an event experience.
Incorporate strategies to get registered participants online and focussed on you. This can include things like no recordings, a swag box (send them physical product), personal check-ins, early-bird prizes, free content for those that attend live and gamification elements to make it fun. To get the event registrations, further to targeting your online community, include some teaser videos on socials to target your niche and give them a taste on the content.
The improved results come down to several factors.
Profit margins are improved with less set-up cost compared to hosting a physical event.
Easily affordable way to scale the event that is not limited by geographical restrictions - it can be world-wide.
People are house-bound and while not sitting idle, looking for worthwhile things to do and hungry for content they are missing.
Up-sell offers are easier to facilitative with VIP offerings
And post-event high ticket offers are seen as the best way to convert participants into ongoing customers.
Marketing costs are lower due to the use of social media and the reduced cost per conversion currently being experienced due to less advertisers.
You could say, it's a perfect storm.
What's pleasing to hear is that many business are not seeing this as a temporary fix, but rather a complementary offering for when live events are able to start up again.
We have seen this work across numerous industries from business conferences, music concerts, service providers, experts, speakers, authors and more. If you would like a free consultation to discuss your situation and what platform and live model suits you best, book your free consult online here.